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LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to advice@escapistmag.com.

Dear Love FAQ,

I’ve been with my girlfriend for a while now and we’re both very serious about each other. I love her deeply and am really happy with her.

The problem is, this is my first relationship ever, and from time to time I wonder what it would be like to be in other relationships. It’s not as though I’m attracted to other women, and even if I was, I wouldn’t dream of leaving her. It’s just this feeling that occasionally bothers me.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with it? Because I don’t want to be with anyone but her.

Thanks,
Cupid Rolled a 20 On His First Shot

Dear Cupid,

Sorry, dude. That feeling never goes away. Whether you’re in your first relationship or your twentieth; whether you’re a blushing virgin or married 80 years, the grass will always look greener on the other side. Given long enough with the same person, it’s only natural that you inevitably become curious about your alternatives.

And that’s okay. Doubt, curiosity, fantasy – none of these things mean you love your girlfriend any less. In fact, they only make your relationship stronger, because unlike someone who just thoughtlessly coasts through the motions from simple inertia, you have weighed your options, evaluated the issue from all angles, and still decided to stay with the person you love.

That means something, and don’t dismiss it just because today you thought the choice was easy. Because it won’t always be. And when that day comes, you’ll be glad you’d already allowed yourself the practice.

Dear Love FAQ,

I’m generally a nice, energetic guy in high school who treats girls respectfully. I was raised in a house with four females, so I’ve also been raised to be more emotional. Most of my friends are of the opposite gender. I’m also a member of our schools local GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), since I believe in pushing for rights for others. Unfortunately, the average person generally translates this to “Emotional+energetic+member of GSA= Gay”.

Now, I’m not bothered by this so much: I’m not gay, my friends know I’m not gay, and I could care less about those who don’t believe me when I tell them I’m not gay.

The real issue I have with this, though, is that some girls just assume I’m gay, and so when I do ask them out, it’s led to awkwardness. I’m just wondering if you have any suggestions on how to be myself without sending out these mixed signals.

Sincerely,
Mislabeled

Dear Mislabeled,

The unfortunate thing about high school is that everyone likes to stuff everyone else into pre-defined boxes, regardless of whether you actually fit. No shades of grey allowed: Just Jock and Nerd and Drama Geek and Queer. Everyone must have a label, and there’s no switching once you’ve been assigned.

And then there’s someone like you, who defies stereotype, who refuses the box, and let’s be honest – that can scare the shit even out of adults. So no wonder you confuse your friends, who are just teenagers, still trying to figure this social-interaction thing out.

Good news is, once you escape the gerbil cage that is high school, you’ll notice these labels start to lose their power. People gravitate toward the people they like, not the arbitrary labels they share. But that’s not much help to you now.

I won’t recommend you change a thing about yourself or your behavior, because honestly, that strength of character is a good quality – a sexy quality, even, once you grow into the right circumstances- and you should hold onto it, because what seems like a liability now will become your greatest asset later on.

For the moment, however, all I can advise is to have patience with your peers, and to seize opportunities when they arise. It’s okay to let be love be a matter of an urgency, a diem that must be carpe’d today. If you like a girl, ask her out as soon as possible. Don’t wait to get to know her better first; that’s what dating is for. Just seize the opportunity before she writes you off as unattainable, because you didn’t make a move.

Also consider looking outside your school, for girls who don’t have as many preconceived notions about what box you should or shouldn’t fit into.

But in the meantime, be who you are, because in the end, that’s what women really want, not someone who changes his behavior to fit an arbitrary standard of what “hetereosexuality” looks like.

Dear LoveFAQ,

I’m a 20-year old guy who’s been single for about a year now. Truthfully, I consider myself “attractive enough”, except for one shortcoming: I suffer from premature baldness. It’s already well on its way. Most of the front of my hair is already non-existent, and I’ve got a pretty large bald spot.

I already have some pretty geeky interests girls my age find hard to identify with, and there isn’t much of a market for short bald guys my age. I’m not scared of talking to girls or anything, but it certainly kills my confidence once in a while. Sometimes it seems like girls don’t really see me in that way, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that dating would be easier if only I had a full head of hair.

I guess my question is – are my fears unfounded? Do girls not really care all that much? And how can I get them to look past the crappy hair and get them to notice the awesome guy that I know I am?

Thanks,
Young Lex Luthor

Dear Lex,

Don’t ask them to look past your bald spot. Own it. Shave that head and work your skin with swagger.

A man who is unashamed of his bald head is incredibly sexy: It screams confidence, experience, and a man who kicks all of the asses and gives none of the fucks.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Patrick Stewart, Vin Diesel, Laurence Fishbourne, Bruce Willis, Taye Diggs, Jason Statham, Omar Epps, The Rock and the millions of other men out there working their shiny pate for all its worth. Women don’t care as much about baldness as you think they do. It’s probably your own self-doubt that’s hurting you most, not the lack of hair.

So if you’re going bald, don’t fight it. Shave it. Be bald, and be beautiful.

After all, the ladies didn’t love Cool J because he had a full head of hair.

Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor – just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don’t take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.

Got a burning question (or a question about burning) for LoveFAQ? Send your emails to advice@escapistmag.com. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.

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